Born in Italy, designed in the USA, and inspired by the track, Andretti Optics’ brand new line of sunglasses channels the best of performance, prestige, and speed. Driving in them is optional; but it’s certainly encouraged.
Quality, style, and performance are buzzwords, of course. But they’re truly descriptive of the spirit of the Italian-American Andretti family. The name has marked decades of historic wins in major events and has become, culturally, synonymous with the concept of speed. So it was an absolute privilege to meet the Andretti family up close and in person last month at the Long Beach Grand Prix. And just a few weeks ago, we watched excitedly as the Andretti team’s own Alexander Rossi won the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500.
Though you may not get the chance to witness the spectacle of the Andretti family on the track as we did, donning a pair of these frames and jumping in your car might just be the next best thing. Whether you drive a Porsche or a Prius (though we’re a tad partial to the former) there’s something magical about walking out the door, putting on a pair of shades, and taking a leisurely drive with that special someone as the sun splays golden light across the open road.
The Andretti family, along with the designers of Andretti Optics’ debut collection, are well aware of this. They’ve recently announced eight unique frames, from a classic aviator, the Aquila, to the vintagely chunky Campione. The Miglia, meanwhile, pays homage to vintage leather racing goggles, worn at events like the Mille Miglia open road endurance race from the 1920s to the ‘50s. Available today is one of our favorite frames, the Indy. It’s reminiscent of a classic racing aviator, but contoured with hand-shaped acetate and finished off with high quality hinges and beautifully gradiated Carl Zeiss lenses.
Just be aware that, like the fleeting sunlight of a drive at dusk, the getting is good for only a short amount of time. The Indy frames are limited to 600 pairs only: 100 in five unique colorways with the last 100 designated as the Autographed Limited Edition version. Not only are the Limited Edition matte black frames housed in a box that’s hand-signed by Michael Andretti himself, but to commemorate the track and its relevance, its GPS coordinates are laser engraved on the interior of each limited edition frame. Necessary? No. Badass? Yes.
Let’s be honest. You don’t need sunglasses from Andretti Optics (or any brand, for that matter) to experience the romance of the road. But a little inspiration can go a long way. While you’ll never come close to channeling the kind of driving experiences as this famous family (with literally hundreds of career wins on major circuits across three generations), there’s no reason not to pretend a little. So put on a pair of Andrettis and go for a drive. Just don’t go too fast. These frames look great, but they probably won’t get you out of a ticket. Probably.